Diving in the Maldives is a dream of many……………although very little is known about how the local communties are effected in their daily lives and how we can help
The Maldives is a place of absolute beauty with a thriving underwater world filled with amazing Marine Life which we all love to enjoy whilst diving. The Maldivian poeple are warm, friendly and welcoming.
Although there is a serious problem within the communities of this beautiful place.
18% of the population is affected with Thalassaemia, which is a genetic blood disorder which affects the body’s ability to produce red blood cells. The Maldives has the highest incident rate in the world. Thalassaemia patients need regular blood transfusions, following which the blood needs to be ‘cleaned’ of excess iron. One effective method of ‘cleaning’ is through the use of a desferal pump. The Maldives is currently short of approx. 50 pumps for its patients.
On the 4th May our 6 team members made up from Prodivers Dive Centre, Ocean Watersports and Kuredu Island Resort set off to paddle in Sea Kayaks, 165km’s around the Lhaviyani Atoll, going to 5 local islands and 4 resort islands to spread awareness and raise funds in order to purchase 50 deferral pumps for the Thalassaemia-affected Maldivians.
The Islands the team visited were Olhuvelifushi, Kurendhoo, Naifaru, Hinnavaru and Madivaru. They were warmly greeted with the local women dancing, adorned in the traditional Maldivian clothing. All the children were taken out of the schools to welcome the team and to listen to the message they had to bring. The people of the community and the local companies donated generously to the cause.
What impressed the team was the interest of the communities and how thankful they were and how interested the children were in a disease they were not even aware of. Some very special moments were when the team members were presented with empty donation boxes and each and every child came up to the donation box to fill it up. A very touching moment indeed.
The Resort Islands they visited were Kanuhura, Palm Beach, Atmosphere Kanifushi, Komandoo and of course ended on Kuredu. Upon arrival to all the Resorts the team was greeted with very large welcoming parties with the staff and the guests welcoming them and listening to what they had to say about Thalassaemia and donating generously to the cause.
Prodivers Dive Centre, Ocean Watersports and Kuredu Island Resort would like to thank every individual who donated to the cause and making the event possible.
They are extremely pleased to announce that they have raised enough funds in order to buy the 50 deferral pumps and that the awareness of the Thalassaemia problem in the Maldives has spread.
However……the hard work is just beginning. It was clear from this trip that a more comprehensive screening and awareness program is needed in the Maldives and the aim for next year will be to envlove more of the Atolls making up the Maldives.
In order to help achieve the goal, the Atoll Challenge relied on the support of corporate sponsorship, as well as the donations of generous guests and visitors and the local community of the Maldives and for this we are extremely grateful!
the d concept
Komandoo Island Resort
Trans Maldivian Airways
Palm Beach Resort
Six Senses Laamu
MBC Maldives broadcasring Corporation